11. For Friday 11/13

For Friday 11/13

Watch Zoom 11 if you missed it. It may help you with the below:

Connecting Details (from Song to Research to Song)

Points from Zoom lecture on Sanneh’s text about Jay-Z, pp. 9-11

  • Connecting Jay-Z’s biographical details (research) to his lyrics: the Glock
  • From content to style (connecting Hip Hop website research to the style of Jay-Z’s words. Comparing his style of “everyday speech” to historical lyrical styles in rap.
  • Close reading and walking us through Jay-Z’ “D’evils”

Reading & Writing Assignments:

1. Read one of the articles you found in your research for last Friday’s assignment using one of our Research Resources. Following Sanneh’s example (above, explained in Zoom), write 1-2 paragraphs where you connect a single detail from your Essay 2 song to a single detail in your research source.

2. Beyonce and the Politics of Listening and Interpretation

When we listen to a song, we are already interpreting it. Even if we listen to a track and say “this is totally meaningless”, this is an interpretation. One of the historical problems in the interpretation of popular musics (from rock and roll to rap to hip hop) has been the tendency to interpret such music in a moralizing way (“are the values espoused in this work good or bad?” “will the children listening to this music be negatively affected?”). In my view, this problem continues to get in the way of listeners’ ability to appreciate the full breadth of meanings available in popular musics. The series of texts on Beyonce we’ve read for this week (by Bell Hooks, Bill O’Reilly, and Noah Berlatsky) highlight this problem:

Below I’ve summarized the background of the three Beyonce commentators and the what they’ve claimed about her work. Then, I’ve posed a question asking you to provide more detail. For Part 2 of your response, I want you to choose A, B, or C and respond to the question I’ve provided and use a quotation from the text to support your response (so, for instance, if you choose “A”, you’ll explain WHY Bell Hooks thinks Beyonce is harmful to young girls and find a quote from her text/interview where she talks about this).

A. Bell Hooks is a self-proclaimed radical intersectional feminist (meaning her politics are very far to the left); she finds Beyonce’s work to be harmful to young girls: why?

B. On the other end of the political spectrum is Bill O’Reilly, a far-right former TV show host for Fox news; he too finds Beyonce’s work to be harmful to young girls: why?

C. Noah Berlatsky is a journalist who cares about Beyonce’s work as a form of art; he notices that although Hooks and O’Reilly are on opposing sides of politics that there are similarities in how they interpret Beyonce’s work: what similarities between them does he notice? What alternative, non-moralizing way of interpreting Beyonce does Berlatsky offer us?

16 thoughts on “11. For Friday 11/13”

  1. 1. The article that I chose that discusses Beyonce’s “Freedom” mentions how “the song ties well within this concept for Black women in higher education because Black women must break through so many barriers just to have the opportunity of an actual and proverbial seat at the table.” The lyrics in the song that connects with this concept is “Singin’, freedom! Freedom! Where are you? ‘Cause I need freedom, too I break chains all by myself won’t let my freedom rot in hell.” The lyrics connect with the concept mentioned in the article because Black women, whether faculty, administrators, or students, must constantly prove their value to the larger academic community in terms of their intelligence, worth, and scholarship. It’s harder for African American women to achieve their goals because they get less support from other people around them. In the article it states “The authors highlighted Black women faculty and their chal- lenges of battling regular encounters with racism, sexism, isolation, perceptions of hostility, and being undervalued. Many women spoke of being mentors and social agents, and described how the balance between being faculty and mentoring was almost impossible.” This quote demonstrates the work environment of African American women who do break barriers and reach the top. They still face many obstacles around them.

    2. B) Bill O’Reilly believes that Beyonces is harmful to young girls because of how she “glorifeis” havig sex in the back of a limousine and that shes “overly sexual”, he believes that she shouldnt act like that because she has many young fans that look up to her and this can affect young girls. It states “I believe in entertainment and an entertainer like Beyonce and a mogul like you have an obligation to protect children, not put out exploitive garbage that you know harms impressionable children. I think Beyonce, what she has done here is inexplicable.” This quote demonstrates the reason Bill O’Reilly believes that Beyonce is harmful to young girls. He believes that Beyonce has an obligation to protect young girls and she can’t do that when she’s making music or music videos that are sexual.

    1. Good work on the whole here, Maram, but there is one key thing I want you to work on in your Essay 2 material: using author names and “signal phrases” when discussing the work of other writers. In specific, I want you to:
      –tell us: who wrote the article you’re discussing (what is the writer’s name?)?
      –tell us: what is the title of the article?
      –use the author’s last name and a “signal verb” (Google this if you need ideas) to introduce quotations

      EX: In “[Insert Article Title Here],” [Author Name] mentions how Beyonce’s song relates to “Black women in education…”

  2. The article that I chose that talks about J Coles “No Role Modelz” talks about how the song ties in to sexuality and stereotypes in society. One lyric in particular is “One time for my LA sisters/One time for my LA hoes/Lame niggas can’t tell the diffrence One time for a nigga who know.” I Find this lyric to be very powerful because of the topic of the stereotype of strong female african american women(Earth Mother and Sister Savior stereotypes) versus the stereotype of a hoe (gold digger, freak stereotypes). Through these lines Cole is indicating that men should desire the strong african american women and not women who are all about the sex and benefits, which is stigmatizing the hoe stereotype as a negative—which it usually is. The article also goes in on how this song talks about how too many girls fit into that gold digger/freak stereotypes where they have no actual intellect but will have sex willingly either for material objects or for their own pleasure.

    For 2 I chose B, a tv show host named Bill O’Reilly. He believes that Beyonce’s music is harmful to young girls. The reason behind this is because of how she constantly having sex and he finds it very inaproriate. He doesn’t want young girls listening to that because he believes it destroys their Innocence. He wants Beyonce to use her platform and voice to spread positivity and kindness instead of sexual desires and explicitness.

    1. Aldo,
      For this assignment, I want you to discuss your article (including the author name, title, and what is said in the article about your issue/song) and focus less on the lyrics (that was for another assignment). Please do that and I’ll credit you for this assignment. Keep me posted.

  3. 1. For my essay I choose this article about how drug addiction is just like cycle. I feel like this can relate to my essay because in the song I selected his drug addiction is basically his daily routine, which could be his way of a cycle. In the article it states ” the addiction cycle has been described as having three components: preoccupation-anticipation, binge-intoxication, and withdrawal-negative affect” , in the song he states that he constantly uses drugs as a source to get away that could relate to binge intoxication.
    b. Beyonce is one of the influential musical artist in today’s era. She inspires all ages all over the world to be the best that they could. In a interview, many views on her inspiration was one-sided especially by political spectrum Bill O’ Reilly. He claims that Beyonce’s work is harmful to young girls. Beyonce was the cover of the “ Top 100 Most Influential People “ magazine where the artist posed in a certain attire that was claimed to be inappropriate by O’Reilly. Bill O’Reilly says Beyonce is the “problem “ of teenage pregnancy just because the music she produced that was talking about having sex in the back of a limousine. In the interview with Russel Simmons, O’Reilly fights his argument by saying “ Worth about $350 million. She puts out a new album with a video that glorifies having sex in the back of a limousine.Teenage girls look up to Beyonce particularly girls of color. She is an idol to them.”

    1. Kamille,
      Please see my comment to Maram, above, on the importance of using the title of the article, the author name, and “signal verbs” (aka “signal phrases”) when discussing the work of other writers. Also, please work on describing the link between the discussion of the “addiction cycle” in this article and your song. I’m not sure how they connect yet, so more writing is needed there.

  4. 1. The article that I chose discusses how Beyonce promotes feminism in young women. Her song “Crazy In Love” shows that women can be fierce and have independent personas. Beyonce has become the number one pop star. This promotes how women can become better than men in any type of way. She promotes this idea in her music. In her song “Holo”, she talks about how she took on the scary role of being a feminist. In her song “Flawless”, it states “I took some time to live my life But don’t think I’m just his little wife.” This lyric shows how women are just not someone’s wife. Women are better than that in her mindset. Overall, based on this article Beyonce has a positive impact on young women.

    2. A) Bell Hooks referred to Beyoncé as a terrorist and anti-feminist. She did many things that caused him to say these things. She promoted adult activities in her music. Since her music targets young girls , Hooks thought that was bad. He sexualizes women in most of her music. That is a big point on Hooks’ claims. Hooks also claims that Beyonce violates the proper image of women. She thinks Beyonce is a anti-feminist.

    1. Nahid,
      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I didn’t think you were writing your Essay 2 on B’s “Crazy in Love”; please be sure you’re discussing an article you’ve found here that connects to your Essay 2 song.

      Also, when discussing your article, please have in mind my comment to Maram, above, on the importance of using the title of the article, the author name, and “signal verbs” (aka “signal phrases”); my comment emphasizes the importance of referring to these things when discussing the work of other writers.

  5. 1)“Everybody” by Logic is about Logic getting hate from both black and white people because he is a biracial rapper. The article that I chose talks about biracial people experiencing identity denial causes them stress and depression. In the article it states “belonging to social groups such as cultural or racial groups helps people create their self‐definition”. When you get rejected by your own people, you feel very lost and because of that, you start questioning your identity. One of the lyrics in the song states “White people told me as a child, as a little boy, playin’ with his toys I should be ashamed to be black And some black people look ashamed when I rap.” Growing up it was hard for Logic to fit in because white people didn’t like that fact he was black and black people didn’t accept him because of his color. All of this happened due to the fact that he is biracial.

    2. A) Bell Hooks finds Beyonce’s work to be harmful to young girls because of the way Beyonce exposes herself to the public. Bell Hooks states “A little girl we can lust after … A little girl that could be Woody Allen’s daughter taken up into the attic to be abused with no one coming to her defense.” Hooks didn’t like the fact Beyonce wore the pantie and bra set in the TIME Magazine Cover. Bell thought it was inappropriate since little girls look up to her.

    1. Mehreen,
      This is good work; however, please see my comment to Maram, above, on the importance of using the title of the article, the author name, and “signal verbs” (aka “signal phrases”) when discussing the work of other writers. This is an issue I’m noticing in your discussion of your article as well. It’s very important to clearly signal when you are writing about quotes and ideas from another writer’s text.
      Thanks.

  6. 1.The article I choose relates to my essay 2 song . Both talks about the police brutality and police violence against persons of color. Black people are still discriminated and their is no justice for them. By one estimate, Black men are 2.5 times more likely than white men to be killed by police during their lifetime and in another study, Black people who were fatally shot by police seemed to be twice as likely as white people to be unarmed. This shows police brutality as well as racism.
    Police job is to protect the public from crime but instead of protecting them, they are killing and shooting them which increases crime. People are tired of police brutality and inequality. They take stand for themselves and protested to get their rights and justice. If all people fight for justice and equality then there would some interventions that could help to reduce racism and rein in the use of unnecessary force in police work.

    2.B) Bill O’ Reilly believes that Beyoncé is harmful to young girls because she is making videos that are sexual which gives wrong message to teens. He thinks it will effect the young girls. He stated that “ she puts out a new album with a video that glorifies having sex in the back at limousine”. He further stated “ I believe in entertainment and an entertainer like Beyoncé and a mogul like you have an obligation to protect children, not put out exploitive garbage that you know harms impressionable children”. This shows that he describes Beyoncé as a “negative influence “ on young girls. He thinks Beyoncé is a bad role model and her videos are the part of the problem for young girls.

    1. Jasleen,
      This is good work; however, please see my comment to Maram, above, on the importance of using the title of the article, the author name, and “signal verbs” (aka “signal phrases”) when discussing the work of other writers. This is an issue I’m noticing in your discussion of your article as well. It’s very important to clearly signal when you are writing about quotes and ideas from another writer’s text.
      Thanks.

  7. 1. The article that I decided to choose relates to my essay 2 because it discusses the hatred that is still occurring in the world today. In the article it states, “I firmly believe that we as Americans cannot remain silent about injustice”. In the song “Where Is The Love” by the Black Eyed Peas, there is a lyric relating to this quote and they’re singing with passion as they say “gotta keep my faith alive till love is found”. He is implying that we shouldn’t give up until this issue is stopped.

    2. According to Bill O’ Reilly, he believes that Beyonce is a bad influence for young girls. Her music videos are the main problem because they are “sexual” and inappropriate for young girls to watch. She is supposed to be a role model but she is relaying the wrong message. He states, “I believe in entertainment and an entertainer like Beyonce and a mogul like you have an obligation to protect children, not put out exploitive garbage that you know harms impressionable children”. O’ Reilly stresses that Beyonce should be using her fame to spread positivity but she is doing the complete opposite.

    1. Alexandria,
      This is good work; however, please see my comment to Maram, above, on the importance of using the title of the article, the author name, and “signal verbs” (aka “signal phrases”) when discussing the work of other writers. This is an issue I’m noticing in your discussion of your article as well. It’s very important to clearly signal when you are writing about quotes and ideas from another writer’s text.
      Thanks.

  8. 1. The article that I chose, “No Role Modelz” by J. Cole, talks about how the song is his weakness when it comes to love. J. Cole has a very intellectual sermon about sexuality and several female stereotypes on his song “No Role Model” from his critically acclaimed, late,2014 album “2014 Forest Hills Drive”. The chorus begging and the first few line read” One time for my LAsister/ one time for my LA hoes/ Lame niggas can’t fell the different/ only time for a nigga who know. That is powerful because it is talking about the stereotypes of strong female African women ( Earth mother and sister savior stereotypes) versus the stereotypes of a ho (gold digger, freak stereotypes). Through these lines auther indicating that man should desire the strong African American women and not women who are all about the sex and benefits, which is stigmatizing the ho sterotypes as a negative-which it usually is. The chorus then continues with a repeated “Don’t save her/ she don’t wanna be saved” refrain that seems to indicate many women are happy where they are, even when they are and the State they are in is not how/ where Cole feels they should be.

    2. Bill O’Reilly claims that Beyonces is dangerous to young girls because she’s “gloriferous” with sex on the back of a limousine and she’s “excessively sexual,” he believes she shouldn’t behave like that because she has a lot of young fans looking up to her and this can influence young girls. Hooks didn’t like the fact that Beyonce wore a pantie and a bra collection in the TIME Magazine Cover. Bell felt it was not right because the little girls were staring up at her.

  9. 1)The article I chose was Liaisons, and Liaisons. “Thunderous Graveyard Affirmations.” The New Inquiry, 13 July 2020, thenewinquiry.com/thunderous-graveyard-affirmations/.”, and it relates to my essay 2 because they both talk about racism and the increase of police brutality. African Americans of color have a higher chance of getting harassed or stopped by the police and face racial profiling. In the article it states “While protests have continued over the past five years in New York since the emergence of Black Lives Matter, the end of last year and the beginning of this one saw a series of rowdy marches against policing…”. Lil Baby was also talking about police brutality in song as well. In song “The Bigger Picture” he says ” I find it crazy the police’ll shoot you and know that you dead, but still tell you to freeze.” This related to my essay 2 due to the fact that they both talk about increase in police brutality.
    2) As claimed by Bill O’Reilly, he believes Beyonce is bad influence for the younger generation. He says the song was bad influence due to the fact of the lyrics because she was talking about inappropriate things and her cover on TMZ she wore a inappropriate outfit and it shows bad image to the younger girls watching her.

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